The Washington Nationals were hoping Bryce Harper‘s left thumb injury would be minor. They were hoping that their electric young outfielder might avoid the ligament damage that already shelved Josh Hamilton and would require surgery. No such luck, and now the team knows that they will likely be without Harper for at least two months and possibly longer.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the surgery repaired damage that was more serious than the team initially believed:
Harper underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in the thumb and a source said he will be out at least two months. The source believes that Harper could play again after the All-Star break.
With Ryan Zimmerman also on the shelf, the Nationals will have to find enough offense to go along with their stellar pitching if they are going to hang around with the Atlanta Braves in the National League East. A return after the All-Star Break would have Harper back in Washington’s lineup in the middle of July, though any minor setbacks or more cautionary timetables could leave the Nationals without him until August.
Harper, who was off to a .289/.353/.422 start through 22 games this season, seemed to be in good spirits after the operation.
On the road to recovery..Everything went great and I’ll be back soon! Thank you to all the fans for the support! pic.twitter.com/66Wn7sxHQ9
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) April 29, 2014
So that’s something.